Book Review | More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys

Hi everyone! Happy Mothers Day! I hope everyone is able to celebrate Mother’s Day today at least in some type of form even through all of the craziness. I bought my mom some goodies from Ulta a few weeks ago online, so at least I was able to get her something. She loves basically all Kylie Cosmetics products, so I was able to get her lip glosses, eyeshadow palettes, and a super cute blush!

Today, I wanted to share a book review with you guys, but I picked this specific book for this day because I thought it fit best with the whole Mother’s Day theme. I actually read Alicia Keys new book! I will admit, I mainly picked this one up for the star filled audiobook cast, which included Jay-Z, Oprah, Swizz Beats, and even more. But, after reading it, it really just showed me how much of a positive spirit Alicia is. Let’s get into the review!

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More Myself: A JourneyMore Myself: A Journey

Alicia Keys with Michelle Burford

Pages: 272

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook

Genre(s): Nonfiction, Memoir, Feminism, Leadership

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

As one of the most celebrated musicians of our time, Alicia Keys has enraptured the nation with her heartfelt lyrics, extraordinary vocal range, and soul-stirring piano compositions. Yet away from the spotlight, Alicia has grappled with private heartache―over the challenging and complex relationship with her father, the people-pleasing nature that characterized her early career, the loss of privacy surrounding her romantic relationships, and the oppressive expectations of female perfection.

Since her rise to fame, Alicia’s public persona has belied a deep personal truth: she has spent years not fully recognizing or honoring her own worth. After withholding parts of herself for so long, she is at last exploring the questions that live at the heart of her story: Who am I, really? And once I discover that truth, how can I become brave enough to embrace it?

More Myself is part autobiography, part narrative documentary. Alicia’s journey is revealed not only through her own candid recounting, but also through vivid recollections from those who have walked alongside her. The result is a 360-degree perspective on Alicia’s path―from her girlhood in Hell’s Kitchen and Harlem, to the process of self-discovery she’s still navigating.

In More Myself, Alicia shares her quest for truth―about herself, her past, and her shift from sacrificing her spirit to celebrating her worth. With the raw honesty that epitomizes Alicia’s artistry, More Myself is at once a riveting account and a clarion call to readers: to define themselves in a world that rarely encourages a true and unique identity.

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  • Star-Studded Audiobook – What an amazing cast of people to not only be able to be included in the book, but the audiobook as well! To hear Oprah, Jay-Z, Swizz Beats, I mean just Alicia alone was amazing! It definitely kept me interested since non-fiction is not always one of my strong suits.
  • Alicia is such an incredible powerhouse – I never realized how incredible Alicia really is, and just how much she gives back into the world. Going through her journey and being able to read about her positive and mindful spirit definitely was something I enjoyed.
  • Mind, body, and spirit advice – Yes, this is a nonfiction book. But I feel like even though you’re reading about Alicia’s story, you’re still taking away some information from the book and can apply it to your life. There’s a lot of meditation advice in here and just positive thinking that everyone, not only women, should apply to their everyday life.
  • Uplifting during a difficult time – I read this during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I think I definitely needed to read this. At a time like this, it’s nice to read about a positive story, one that isn’t so negative and so many up and downs, it’s a pretty solid positive read and I enjoyed that as I’m sure you can tell.
  • Music within the audiobook – I loved the fact that Alicia would play music and sing in between chapters, also when talking about a specific song in depth she would sing it. Ugh, what an amazing voice she has.
  • Not too long, Perfect length – This book was 272 pages long and I thought that was the PERFECT length. I don’t really care for nonfiction that’s 400+ pages, I like smaller books, I’m not going to lie here. It went by nicely, and I think if it was any longer I might not have gotten through it, maybe not even picked it up.

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  • Wanted more music details/backstories – I would have liked more details and backstories about the SONGS. The albums were described very well, don’t get me wrong. But I would have loved to have seen the songs and their stories go more into depth because Alicia does write her own music, and has some pretty powerful songs on some pretty power filled albums.
  • Wanted more depth going into 9/11 – She seemed to have a pretty big part of the healing New York needed after 9/11. I’ve heard stories, but New York is my home and I’ve known for a long time that Alicia was big into helping New York heal. I would have loved to hear her reactions to it and about her performance. She’s a New Yorker, and me being one myself I wanted to hear more about that.
  • Too Political for my tastes – I didn’t care for the tone the book was taking towards the end with the political talking. I understand, shit I would love to talk about Obama too. But about the whole Trump and Hillary thing… I don’t know. It just got too political for my personal tastes. That’s all.

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                          ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

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If you’re an Alicia Keys fan, absolutely. You should read this immediately, and definitely the audiobook. If you know about her but aren’t necessarily a fan and don’t have any issues with her, I would also recommend this to you. If you don’t like Alicia Keys, and I don’t really know why you wouldn’t, then probably don’t pick this up, but definitely look at the decisions you’re making in life because Alicia is not a bad person or someone you should hate what-so-ever 🤣.

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Top Ten Tuesday #55 – Books I Wish I Had Read As A Child

Hey everyone and happy Tuesday! It is almost May and I am super excited to get some more of that warm weather. Reading and sitting outside in the sun is one of my favorite summer activities, so as soon as I am able to get to that maybe quarantine won’t be so bad, right? 😅

This was an idea created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The rules basically go a little like this:

  1. Jana creates a new topic every Tuesday to make your list, and you create your own Top Ten (or three, or five, or twenty, however many you choose!)
  2. Link back your posts to That Artsy Reader Girl so when others read your post, they’ll know where to go to get more info about future upcoming topics.
  3. There is a linky widget on Jana’s Top Ten Tuesday post so other’s can see your post as well as you being able to check out everyone else’s! So definitely leave your links!
  4. Don’t be afraid to add your own twist to it!

This week’s topic: Books I Wish I Had Read As A Child

(1) Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling

(2) The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series – Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

(3) Matilda – Roald Dahl

Matilda

(4) A Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snickett

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1)

(5) The Oz series – L. Frank Baum

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1)

(6) Winnie The Pooh – A.A. Milne

Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1)

(7) Where The Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silverstein

Where the Sidewalk Ends

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I Dare You! Book Tag

Hey everyone! Happy Saturday! A little life update, but basically I have been absolutely exhausted this past week or so with constant anxiety, and when I get like this I definitely tend to just want to take more time and watch Youtube, relax, play Animal Crossing and chill myself out. So yeah, that’s basically been my life for the past week. I am starting to try and get on track though which is nice.

I was tagged to do this post by Mary from Sophril Reads! Please anyone who feels up to doing this fun tag, defintely participate! Let’s get onto the book tag shall we?

1) What book has been on your shelves the longest?

While It Lasts – Abbi Glines

2) What is your current read, the last book you read, and your next read?

Currently I’m reading Blitzed by Alexa Martin, I just finished More Myself by Alicia Keys and hmm…. my next read will probably be Love and Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

3) What book did everyone like, but you hated?

I would have to say Milk and Honey… everyone loved this little poetry book and I just did not. Way too over-hyped book.

4) What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but probably won’t?

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. Honestly I don’t think I’ll finish the series, even though I really want to.

5) Which book are you saving for retirement?

I think a nice re-read of Fifty Shades of Grey after I retire would be nice lol.

6) Last Page: Do you read it first or wait until the end?

Haha I am so guilty of this sometimes! Never will I do this in a Mystery/Thriller, but in all other books I may or may not do this…….

7) Acknowledgements: Are they a waste of paper and ink, or interesting?

I wouldn’t say it’s interesting so to speak, but an author deserves to write a thank you to the people who helped them publish that book.

8) Which book character would you switch places with?

Honestly, none? I mean all the books I read the characters go through some SHIT let me tell you. I’m good where I’m at haha.

9) Do you have a specific book that reminds you of something in your life?

Daisy Jones & The Six will always be the book that reminds me of my relationship with my dad. Both my dad and I are big music fans and we would always watch those VH1 shows where the explain the whole backstory on different bands. I think that definitely attributed to my love for this book a little bit as well.

10) Name a book that you acquired in a interesting way.

I have a book that my ex-bestfriend let me ‘borrow’… but before I could return it she cyber bullied me online, so she never got it back 😈

11) Have you ever given away a book for a special person?

I give books away to my younger cousin all the time to encourage her to read. She has a difficult time being able to follow along, but I think her sitting and being able to read on her own definitely helps calm herself and settles her anxiety.

12) Which book has been with you the most places?

All of my Abbi Glines books have been with me the most throughout the years. Her Sea Breeze series has definitely been around for some time now.

13) Any ‘required reading’ you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

The Great Gatsby is actually a really good book now that it isn’t require reading since I’m no longer in high school lol.

14) Used or Brand new?

Brand new! I love the smell of new books. Clean pages…. mmm makes me happy thinking about it.

15) Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Haha, is it sad I had to look up who Dan Brown is? And then realize he’s like actually super popular and that I’ve kind of been living under a rock my whole life? Hahahaaha………..

16) Have you ever seen a movie that you liked more than the book?

Hmm… I think the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before movie was 100% better than book one. I think that book was basically just meant to be written as a movie.

17) A book that’s made you hungry?

With The Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

18) Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

Definitely Lala from BooksandLala on youtube.

19) Most read authors?

Abbi Glines, Shari Lapena, J.K. Rowling and a three way tie between Christina Lauren, Stephanie Garber and Marissa Meyer.

20) Ship from two different books?

Hmmm…. I would have to say Nova from the Renegades series and Jacks from Caraval. But Nova when we first met her in the series, not towards the end. Two very evil people together. One with magic, one with powers. I mean cmon, Jacks with his kiss of death and Nova with her sleep powers????! Cmon guys. I have something here.

I tag anyone who wants to do this! Please do so!

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Top Ten Tuesday #53 – Books That I Enjoyed But Rarely Talk About

Hello everyone, and happy Tuesday! Of course, it is tradition on this blog that we do Top Ten Tuesday’s. and honestly… I am really loving today’s prompt.

I will admit, I do repeat books a lot… *cough* Caraval *cough*. But today we are going to talk about the books I enjoyed, but don’t nearly talk about enough. Now, a lot of these books are actually pretty popular, but here on this blog, I don’t generally talk too much about them. So let’s just dive right in and give these books the spotlight they rightfully deserve, shall we?

This was an idea created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The rules basically go a little like this:

  1. Jana creates a new topic every Tuesday to make your list, and you create your own Top Ten (or three, or five, or twenty, however many you choose!)
  2. Link back your posts to That Artsy Reader Girl so when others read your post, they’ll know where to go to get more info about future upcoming topics.
  3. There is a linky widget on Jana’s Top Ten Tuesday post so other’s can see your post as well as you being able to check out everyone else’s! So definitely leave your links!
  4. Don’t be afraid to add your own twist to it!

This week’s topic: Books I Enjoyed But Rarely Talk About


(1) The Perfect Son – Lauren North ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

The Perfect Son

I am not just shocked, but totally dumbfounded as to why this book didn’t get more hype than it did. I really don’t hear anyone talking about this book and I really wish that could change. It came out last year in August and I actually received it as an Arc from the publisher. I knew it was a mystery, and it sounded interesting. I mean come on, a mother who wakes up from the hospital and realizes her child is missing and she’s been stabbed? Good lord. The DRAMA. But this book was uhh… let’s just say completely surprising and blew me completely out of the water. I gave it a 4/5 stars, but I have been contemplating that decision for a long time.

(2) My Lovely Wife – Samantha Downing ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

My Lovely Wife

What a book this was. My god, the writing… the plot… the characters! It was a genius book, and I have never heard of anything like this nor read anything like it. This was a debut (I believe) and I cannot wait to read what Downing puts out next. If she wants to start us off with a husband and wife killing team, her next book is going to be genius.

(3) Opposite of Always – Justin A. Reynolds ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Opposite of Always

I think this is the only book I have read with time travel in it, and to my surprise I actually seriously enjoyed it. I won’t give the plot away because I feel like with this one you should go in a little blind, but it is a really cute story and would definitely recommend everyone should try reading.

(4) Eliza and Her Monsters – Francesca Zappia ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza is easily one of the most relatable characters I have ever read a point of view from in my entire life. I thought this book was beautiful, unbelievably well written, and I don’t cry with many books, but this is definitely one of the rare ones that made me cry. It’s a pretty popular book with the YA community, but I don’t nearly talk as much about it as I should.

(5) An Unwanted Guest – Shari Lapena ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

An Unwanted Guest

Being totally honest here, I know I talk about Shari Lapena’s book’s quite a bit, but this one doesn’t nearly get all the love it deserves on this blog in my opinion. It is easily on of the best Thrillers I have ever read in my entire life, and I am not sure if anything will be able to compare to it. It’s set up as a ‘And Then There Were None’ sort of storytelling, which I LOVE, and it is just done so well. UGH! Go read it!

(6) Romanov – Nadine Brandes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Romanov

I received this as an eArc the beginning of last year and yikes… another incredible story. I have never read Fawkes, which is basically what Nadine is known for (other than her adorable instagram), but I really had a hunch when requesting this book that it was going to be something truly magical. And boy, what a magical fun story this was. 100% recommend it.

(7) Love & Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Love & Gelato (Love & Gelato, #1)

I read this book back in 2018 and really enjoyed it. I haven’t been able to get to the next books in the series, but I do plan on doing that in the near future.

(8) They Both Die At The End -Adam Silvera ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

They Both Die at the End

Another really good back that I read back in 2018 that was just so creative! I don’t think I would have ever been able to come up with a story line like this one had that was just so detailed! Such a cool, but yet soul-crushing concept.

(9) The Playbook Series – Alexa Martin ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Intercepted (Playbook, #1)

Well, seeing as I love football and love a good adult romance book, these books are basically made for me lol. I love the writing, they are good books that have just the right amount of drama in them for me to love and both books I’ve given pretty good ratings. I know the third book is out, so I will have to pick that up soon.

(10) The Fault In Our Stars – John Green ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

The Fault in Our Stars

Yes, this last book is a very popular book, but on this blog, well it’s basically non-existent. It’s not my fault I read this book back in like 2014 okay? I need to re-read this because it really was an incredible story that unfortunately, I have no notes on.


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Top Ten Tuesday #52 | Signs You're A Book Lover

Hello everyone and it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday!

This was an idea created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The rules basically go a little like this:

  1. Jana creates a new topic every Tuesday to make your list, and you create your own Top Ten (or three, or five, or twenty, however many you choose!)
  2. Link back your posts to That Artsy Reader Girl so when others read your post, they’ll know where to go to get more info about future upcoming topics.
  3. There is a linky widget on Jana’s Top Ten Tuesday post so other’s can see your post as well as you being able to check out everyone else’s! So definitely leave your links!
  4. Don’t be afraid to add your own twist to it!

This week’s topic: Signs You’re A Book Lover

This week was such a fun topic! Can’t wait to share my list with you guys, so let’s get to it!


(1) You Always Have A Book In Your Purse

(2) Your Library Card is Just as Important as Your Debit Card

Image result for library card

(3) You Constantly Think of Ordinary Things Becoming A Bookmark

(4) You Have A Whole Blog Surrounding Books

(5) You Get Excited Over Book Sales

Image result for book sale signs

(6) You Have Bookish Decor

Image result for bookish decor

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Dystopian Books to Read During A Pandemic

Hello everyone! Happy Friday! I hope everyone is staying safe, healthy, and staying HOME!

Today’s post we are going to talk about some dystopian books that may distract you from the current dystopia we are currently living through. If you feel like coping with this whole situation by reading books where the settings are far worse than what is happening currently, then these books are for you. Personally, I am actually reading the hunger games now and wow… it sure is taking my mind off of a lot of situations right now.

Let’s just jump right into the list and talk about some of these dystopian books that will just really take your mind off of the current situation we are all in right now… or just make you worry even more lol.


(1) Dry – Neal & Jarrod Shusterman

Dry

Honestly, this book is pretty close to the most realistic thing that can happen out of all of these situations. It takes place in California and when we start the book, we immediately are made aware that due to a low raining season, the state and surrounding states are actually running low on water. Eventually most of California completely drys out, which leaves people with no water. Our main characters are led to do some pretty crazy stuff just to get a single drop of water. It’s intense, but it makes you think with global warming going on in this world, could this actually become a reality? Also, this book has led me to be a little more mindful of just how much water I use.

(2) The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

Although I have not read the series (I’m currently in the process of doing so though), I have watched the movies and good lord… I would hate to have to live in a world like this one. I can’t even imagine having to stand in a large group with other young adults/kids and have to be picked to go be put in some game, where I have to kill other kids, just so a bunch of old people can have fun with the entertainment part of it. Like what in the hell. I will give Collins mad props to coming up with this idea, but man is it dark.

(3) The Handmaids Tale – Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1)

Again… another series where I have to say to myself what the hell was this author thinking when writing it. I have not read this, but I basically know all of the storyline and what the whole concept is just from the countless of spoilers alone (thanks Twitter 🙂 ) But in all seriousness, this book is SCARY. I mean yes it is a dystopian, but I think it could be classified as horror for the general female population. Basically in this book to sum it all up, women are slaves to families who can’t make babies. We follow Offred who is basically forced to have sex with a man so him and his wife can have a family since the wife can’t produce children. I honestly cannot wait to read this because I am just dying to experience the amount of anger that comes with this book. It sounds like a horrible setting, but a wonderful dystopian read.

(4) The Divergent series – Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

I don’t find this dystopian to be quite as scary as the previous three I have mentioned, but it’s still not a place I would enjoy living. Our story takes place in Chicago and we follow a girl named Beatrice who basically has to choose which of the five factions she would like to dedicate her life to. She wants to stay with her family, but also wants to be who she really is,but unfortunately can’t do both. I’ve heard okay-ish things about this series, but the first movie was pretty big when it came out a few years ago. The rest I heard nothing about, but hey you might like it. Ya never know unless you try it.

(5) The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)

I have actually read this one, and this one is pretty unsettling as well, but to be honest I would love to have some of these powers. Obviously Ruby, our main character, has the best power of them all but the others are pretty cool too. I did enjoy the first book, and I don’t really know why I haven’t continued but I am sure I will eventually. It was a really good story, and left us with a really big cliffhanger, so I don’t know. Maybe I’ll get to it sometime this year. Haven’t watched the movie yet either which I am hoping to get to soon as well.


Well I hope you guys enjoyed my list and maybe find some comfort in these books while reading during your quarantine time. Let me know if you guys have read any of these and what you thought as well! Happy reading!


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